It’s been a somber week. As I began my work-day yesterday, I noticed my UNT-alumni primo, John, post something on the Facebook about a guy he didn’t even know, but whose work he had known. And the shock and sadness overcame the day, because, I did know the guy–even for a short time.
The passing of an intelligent, young activist in La Causa is never expected, and the passing of Shaun Chapa has indeed sent shockwaves through the University of North Texas community and beyond. This obit says what you should know about him.
Shaun was a graduate student in the Anthropology Department and graduated with a Bachelors in 2008. He was a member of Lambda Theta Phi, MUEVE and was recently named the Multicultural Greek Council Man of the Year.
Shaun leaves an extensive legacy of contributions to UNT, the discipline of Anthropology, and the greater Denton Community. His Master’s research about Latino/a undocumented youth will be published in a volume about Latino/a education. This work was also recently presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings and was accepted in a session for the American Educational Research Association meetings which will take place in Canada later this month.
Through Lamda Theta Phi and MUEVE Shaun worked to raise awareness about the challenges faced by Latinos/as while also forging coalitions with other Greek and student organizations. As a DJ Shaun used his art to support the work of student and community organizations. His talents allowed him to share his passion and commitment while giving to others.
His young daughter and the many, many hearts and minds of individuals, particularly young people, he touched along the way will miss him dearly. Those of us who had the privilege to know him will remember him as a true warrior-a loving father and intellectual humanitarian.
Along with being a Marine, Shaun was also an accomplished DJ–all sorts of music. He even provided services to the Denton County Democratic Women for one of their events. So, needless to say, he impacted a lot of lives in one way or another and he will be missed by many.
My thoughts go out to his little girl, Elexcia, his family, and his girlfriend, Soraya.